As the major noncommunicable diseases affecting the European Region share common modifiable risk factors, prevention of any one of these diseases must be integrated into population approaches to prevent NCDs as a group. WHO has adopted an integrated and comprehensive approach to combat noncommunicable diseases that includes surveillance, supporting countries in the development of policies and strategies for integrated prevention, with special emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.  A selection of activities is described below.

  • On 27 April 2011, the Regional Office organized a meeting of European delegations to the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Noncommunicable Disease Control, which took place on 28 and 29 April 2011 in Moscow, Russian Federation. The meeting of European delegations facilitated a coordinated European input to the Global Conference, which will also help shape the European Region’s contribution to the United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs to be held in New York, USA, in September 2011.
  • In support of the Regional Office’s work on a new European health policy (Health 2020), a comprehensive review of the social determinants of health is being conducted throughout all 53 Member States. The review will provide scientific evidence and a framework for future action on the social determinants of health. The new policy was presented for approval to the 53 Member States in the European Region at the sixty-second session of the Regional Committee in 2012.
  • In line with the "2008-2013 Action plan for the global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases", WHO conducted a global survey to measure the capacity of individual countries to respond to the prevention and control of NCDs. Successful completion of this survey in the European Region led to publication in 2010 of a preliminary report on selected survey results.
  • The STEPwise Approach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance was developed by WHO to promote the use of standardized methods and tools. It enables countries to strengthen their capacity to collect the core data required for policy and programme development, implementation and evaluation. The approach has been undertaken in low- and middle income countries in five WHO regions.
  • The WHO Global InfoBase is an online tool created to improve access by public-health professionals to country-level data on chronic diseases and risk factors. It brings together survey data collected from all WHO Member States and provides users with full traceability and access to survey methods.